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Frequently Asked Questions

Founded in 2013, Vyv, Inc.® is a privately-held health tech company and a market leader in antimicrobial LED light technology and solutions for homes, public places and virtually every industry. The company’s patented light technology and applications apply a single LED diode that both illuminates while creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold, and mildew to grow. Our team of inventors, microbiologists and engineers are focused on ways to apply this planet-friendly approach for a healthier and cleaner world for us all.

Vyv’s mission is to create and deliver a distinctive new class of antimicrobial lighting solutions that are healthy for us and our planet in the most sustainable and simplest way. Working with our research partners, accreditation bodies and customers, and backed by our own and independent research and scientific and clinical studies, we are delivering positive and sustainable solutions to protect as many people and places as possible.

Vyv’s technology harnesses its microbial killing power from within the visible light spectrum, which ranges from the frequencies of 380-750nm. This spectrum is comprised of the colors that we see, such as the colors within a rainbow. The discovery of visible light’s antimicrobial power was originally made in the late 1800s, where experiments with colored filters were used with natural sunlight to initially demonstrate its impact. Vyv has applied LED technology engineered to produce an abundance of light in the 400-420nm range, which has been researched, documented and fully acknowledged to kill* bacteria, fungi, yeast and mold/mildew.

Vyv is highly effective at stopping the growth of gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, fungi, yeast, mold and mildew. Our technology does this over time by continually knocking down and then eliminating these microbes from the exposed environment. A detailed list of microbes is available on our web site and by request, as this list is continually expanding over time.

Vyv’s lights and light technology meet international standards for continuous and unrestricted use around people, pets and plants.

Because the types of porphyrin molecules found in humans, animals and even plants are not photoactivated by light in Vyv’s 400-420nm range, our light technology can be used continually and without restriction. There have been numerous studies performed and papers written about using this visible light. Multiple scientific, peer-reviewed studies have exposed mammalian and human cells to these wavelengths and have shown that antimicrobial irradiance levels are fine for unrestricted use. In addition, all these studies were conducted at much higher intensities of light than our products. And all found that their applications had no negative impact on humans, animals, plants or on facility operations or any surface materials such as plastics, rubber, insulation, etc… This is very different from UV-C light. Vyv products have also been installed in patient care areas throughout hospitals since as early as 2013.

No. Not at all. Ultraviolet light’s killing action works by attacking the cell’s DNA, making it harmful to humans by penetrating our skin and our eyes, potentially causing cancerous cells and eye disease. Vyv’s killing action is completely different. It works by activating porphyrin molecules that are found exclusively within microbial cells. When activated, the porphyrins produce excessive Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), such as singlet oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl groups. Once these ROS build up, they become toxic to the cell, causing the destruction of multiple structures within the cell and ultimately leading to cell death.

The only thing Vyv technology has in common with UV is that they are both antimicrobial in nature. That is where the comparison ends.

UV occurs in the 100-380nm range. The wavelengths that are most germicidal and therefore most used for sterilization or disinfection occur from 200-280nm. UV light works by penetrating much further into the nucleus of microbes, destroying nucleic acids and therefore disrupting their DNA. The DNA damage accumulates leaving cells unable to perform vital functions and causing cell death. Because humans also have DNA, and because that DNA is damaged by UV wavelengths, this form of light at disinfecting or sterilizing doses is simply not safe for human exposure. UV can only be used when exposed areas are not occupied or in spaces that are enclosed and have no risk of human exposure.

UV also has the burden of being cumbersome, often expensive, short useful lifetime and not appropriate for traditional overhead lighting applications; where Vyv’s LED technology is continuous, provides high quality white light, is relatively inexpensive, and offers long reliable lifetime.

Equally important when it comes to certain materials, UV light breaks down the chemical bonds in plastics, gaskets, insulation, and similar materials. Vyv does not have any impact on these materials, making it ideal for applications where the damaging effects of UV are undesirable or impractical.

In summary, Vyv technology is not ultraviolet (UV). It is within the visible light spectrum and acts using a completely different killing mechanism than UV.

Vyv’s non-chemical continuous antimicrobial solutions provide protection anywhere bacteria, mold, yeast and fungi are an issue. Today, many applications of our technology deliver both antimicrobial cleaning and illumination. Think high-traffic areas, like kitchens, bathrooms, elevators, offices, airports and athletic facilities as well as high-risk areas like the airline and cruise industry, hospital ERs, ORs, trauma bays, nursing stations and patient rooms, agricultural & food-processing facilities, pharmaceutical clean rooms and more.

It is possible and highly practical to use our technology in the smallest of spaces where antimicrobial protection is essential, but illumination is not. For instance, inside consumer products, in handles and buttons or embedded within industrial equipment where microbial buildup is a problem. That is the elegance of Vyv’s single diode antimicrobial light technology. Plus, our technology does not impact parts and materials, making it an ideal complement to reside inside or as a part of any product or process.

Vyv’s antimicrobial technology and solutions are delivered to the market through a unique mix of partnerships, as well as direct to customers.

With our in-depth knowledge of how to deliver the optimal efficacy in many diverse environments, companies choose to work directly with Vyv. The range of industries include agriculture, athletics, aviation, education, food and beverage manufacturing, restaurants and food preparation, acute and long-term healthcare, hospitality, maritime, pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturing, real estate, among others.

Additionally, our technology is manufactured into traditional overhead LED lighting fixtures. We partner closely with both lighting fixture manufacturers and work directly with the overhead lighting sales channel to ensure that the specification market has access to this critically needed technology.

Our patented single-diode LED form factor enables Vyv to also design and engineer antimicrobial light into specific applications such as consumer and household products, elevator buttons, medical devices and into diverse industrial processes.

Vyv offers two variations of our patented single-diode LED technology. There is our Antimicrobial+Light version with white light. This is designed to offer high quality illumination when it is required, the same as a traditional LED light. And it also packs the full effect of our antimicrobial power in environments that are touched by our lights.

Then, there is also our Enhanced Antimicrobial Light with violet light. This would be used when acuity from white light is not required – for instance, inside a consumer product or a manufacturing process or behind an elevator button. Using the violet Enhanced mode simply speeds the time to attain the same level of microbial impact as with our white lights.

A very common application is to use both together. A common example is a restroom. When unoccupied, the violet light is fully active. When the bathroom door is opened, an occupancy sensor changes the violet light to white. This is an excellent visual cue to provide greater comfort to a new occupant that the bathroom has been continually cleaned while the room was empty.

Vyv has performed a wide range of efficacy studies both in the laboratory and in active environments. The results have been significant in reducing microbial bioburdens in many different applications. While some of these tests have been performed by Vyv’s microbiology and engineering teams for customers, the majority of these studies have been performed by independent, third party academic sources.

Some studies performed on the efficacy of Vyv’s technology include research performed at the NY State Department of Health Wadsworth Biodefense Lab, University of North Carolina, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cornell Food Sciences, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Case Western University, Cleveland VAMC, and Bayfront Health System with several more clinical and customer trials currently in progress. Detailed case studies and results are numerous and always available upon request.

There are currently many methods being used to aid in cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. These include mopping and wiping with chemical agents, along with more sophisticated disinfection techniques such as bursts of UV light treatment, high pressure-high heat full facility wash downs, and vapor-bombing with chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide. While these approaches reduce surface contamination, they are only initially and intermittently effective. Microbial levels can quickly return between treatments. Plus, these approaches can be harmful to people and materials.

Vyv’s antimicrobial LED lights work nonstop, 24 hours a day, and meet the international standards for both continuous and unrestricted around people, animals and plants. Over time, this easy to implement solution creates an inhospitable environment for microbes without the hazards and challenges from these other methods.

At Vyv, we embrace the role of trusted advisor for each and every partner and customer and share the expertise gained through years of experience in diverse markets — residential, public spaces and across industries. We do this by complementing our patented antimicrobial light technology with all the services required to deliver the proper efficacy for each application. Vyv is engaged every step of the way, with the goal to ensure the viability of every solution that carries our name, from beginning to end:

Strategic Planning: Our highly consultative process requiring expertise at all levels while working alongside our customers. We are trained to ask the questions that help guarantee the efficacy of the ultimate solution.

Multi-Disciplinary Engineering: The efficacy of antimicrobial light is one of Vyv’s highest priorities. Every application of our technology comes with detailed engineering analysis and planning. Antimicrobial technology must be viewed very differently than traditional LED technology. We do this through prototyping, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and material science engineering.

Microbiology Services: Many customers and partners are not set up to do laboratory testing. Vyv’s microbiology team has the experience to design and perform a wide spectrum of studies to generate the necessary data to evaluate our solutions objectively. We are fully aware of requirements from the EPA and other regulatory bodies. Our team is highly trained to look at every application from multiple angles to inform the best possible outcomes, determine the proper claims and to be in full compliance.

Clinical Research: Vyv is 100% committed to advancing the science of antibacterial light technology. Our experts are constantly evaluating all environments that use our technology and reporting to our customers and partners on its impact, even in the most esoteric applications and environments. This knowledge is accumulated in an in-depth knowledgebase that is readily accessible to all Vyv customers and partners.

Marketing Support: Vyv assists partners by providing data to support product claims; in-market knowledge gained our direct experience and the experience of other partners; and the tools needed to enhance our partners’ brands, products and services.

“Superbugs”—have been identified by the World Health Organization as “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.” At Vyv, we are confident that our technology will provide additional layers of protection against these powerful common germs.

In the simplest of terms, antibiotics and Vyv work in very different ways, with antibiotics affecting a single “target” and Vyv affecting multiple ubiquitous “targets” within a microorganism. Microbes have proven effective at mutating to resist aggression toward a single target, but not multiple targets.

Antibiotics operate by targeting a singular molecule or function within a cell: a component of either DNA synthesis; cell wall synthesis; or protein synthesis. Bacteria are then able to generate one of four resistance mechanisms: antibiotic inactivation, target modification, altered permeability, or the bypass of that part of the metabolic pathway. These mechanisms become effective because resistance is needed against only the single target within the cell.

By contrast, Vyv technology impacts bacteria through the photoactivation of the ubiquitous and critical building blocks of the cell, specifically, unique microbial porphyrin molecules, which then produce Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These ROS cause irreparable damage intracellularly by affecting numerous targets simultaneously, including DNA, RNA, proteins, and lipids. It would be very difficult for microbes to produce enough mutations that did not kill the cell to generate viable resistance.

This dynamic has been demonstrated in several studies that looked at the potential for the development of resistance to antimicrobial light technology. The lack of resistance after repeated exposure showed that the development of resistance to this light is unlikely to occur, especially on surface environments.

We never recommend that our customers fully replace their current cleaning procedures, rather supplement. Each cleaning procedure provides a specific purpose. For example, UV pulsing and chemical vapors, such as Hydrogen Peroxide Vapor, are effective for terminal cleans but are not options in providing continuous disinfection.

Current cleaning and disinfection procedures—whether ad hoc or regularly scheduled (hourly, daily or weekly) do not provide adequate protection against bacteria, fungi, yeast or mold. Current approaches are effective at and around the time of cleaning, but once anything or anyone new enters that environment, the cycle of contamination begins again.

This is the case in virtually every environment from our homes to the workplace and factories to any interior public space. Vyv’s technology works non-stop, around the clock and in between routine cleaning activities, providing a layer of continuous antimicrobial action, and an added level of risk-mitigation. This is an effective approach to targeting the continuous buildup of microbes (E. coli can double in numbers every 20 minutes in some conditions, increasing bioburden exponentially across the course of a day), while meeting requirements for continuous use around people. We refer to our lights as having a continuous cleaning effect, which makes them the ideal foundation for any cleaning protocols.

Let’s be in touch.

If we can answer any questions or you’d like to brainstorm ideas about how you can apply antimicrobial LED light, please say hi to Vyv.